Rugby Rugby

Kenya 7s face Russia in Challenge Trophy at Wellington

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Kenya’s Willy Ambaka attacks against Argentina Singapore Sevens 2016, HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – Photo Martin Seras Lima

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 28 – England continued their dominance over Kenya in the HSBC Sevens World Series after thrashing Shujaa 31-12 to relegate the Innocent Simiyu charges to the Challenge Trophy in the third round at Wellington Sevens on Saturday.

Kenya, who finished Group A third on five points after only managing to win one match, will face Russia in the Challenge Trophy on Sunday, fighting for eight points.

It was a disappointing opening day for Shujaa after committing errors especially in kicking and off load against Argentina’s 12-17 loss and the England defeat despite mauling none-core side Papa New Guinea 47-5.

“We lost concentration in the past two games and it came to haunt us in the last game against England as well, so we need to work on the mistakes that we did and hopefully we will win tomorrow (Sunday). We really need to work hard to get everything right and I’m happy that some of the boys are back to full fitness,” Kenya Sevens winger Willy Ambaka said after the match.

Despite the return of instrumental players; all-time world record top try scorer Collins Injera, Oscar Ouma and Sammy Oliech, Kenya failed to improve their Cape Town Sevens performance where they reached the Main Cup quarter-finals.

Against England who have won 10 matches against Kenya in the last 11 matches, Shujaa were punished from kick-off to give the Englishmen possession.

England moved the ball across the field with patience and, after a minute with the ball in hand, it was spread out wide to the fleet-footed flyer Dan Norton who had too much pace for the Kenyan defence to touch down the opener and his 228th try to seat third on the all-time top try scoring list, eight behind Injera.

Kenya’s Ouma cost his side the second try when he lost possession to see Dan Bibby double the scores when he chased his own chip and retrieved it before landing down England’s second try.

Kenya clawed one back after Injera made a blistering break up field to set-up Ambaka to a one-on-one footrace with the England captain Tom Mitchell, who failed to catch him for the bulky Ambaka to ground his side’s first converted try.

Returning for the Second half, Kenya produced a lovely passage of play for Injera to score his first try of the tournament and his 236th with the last move of the match which did not change the situation as England had already damaged Shujaa’s hopes of reaching the Main Cup quarters.

-Kenya v Papa New Guinea-

In their second match of the pool, Kenya were too good for Papa New Guinea who were punished from their mistimed tackles for Ambaka to bag a brace for Kenya after good work at the breakdown by captain  Andrew Amonde.

Papa New Guinea found their consolation from William Tirang who bursts through for his first-ever HSBC Sevens Series try.

However, good scramble in defence by Kenya who found their groove as Bush Mwale ran in a fifth try for the Shujaa. They worked their physical magic again to blast their way to the line as Ouma completed a perfectly executed move.

“The first one is tough, but coming here I am trying to find my feet so let’s see how it goes, but good to be back. We need to look at our communication as a team,” Injera said.

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